What is a Personal Injury Lawyer
As a personal injury lawyer, we will be by your side at every step of your legal journey. We can help in a variety of situations, such as medical malpractice, workers compensation, truck accidents, and auto accidents. The Fitzpatrick Firm is well known for obtaining positive outcomes for injured parties. Our goal is to gain just redress for injuries or wrongs done to you through appropriate application of the law.
In legal terms, the personal injury law is known as tort law. Tort law is intended to take care of civil suits that include harm to your person or property, but also includes areas such as defamation of character, breach of contract, or bad faith contracts. In each situation, we can help you through the tangle of legal terms and conditions.
Call Us First
If you are in a situation where you think litigation might be involved, call us first. Too often people make statements or respond to a situation without understanding the legal aspects of the situation. Our job is made more difficult if there is a recording made by an insurance agent – even if he represents your company – without consulting us. When we are the first person there, we can guide your responses to your advantage.
By calling us first, we can prevent injudicious statements or wrong impressions that might occur because you are ill, in pain, frightened or angry. These are normal human reactions; but by contacting someone who will be less affected by the circumstances, you avoid impetuous or impulsive statements.
Situations Where We Can Help
Auto Accidents: Regardless of who was at fault in an automobile accident, call us before talking to anyone else. If you have been involved in an accident, you are probably not thinking clearly. Even if no one seems to be injured, an auto accident is a shock to the system. Your insurance agent might seem to be the person to call right away, and he or she should certainly be next, but let us take it from there. We know what to say, how to say it so that the truth will serve you well.
Truck Accidents: While this might seem like a repeat of the auto accident case, there are so many more things that can go wrong with a truck – especially the big transports that carry goods across our nation. More people are involved – the people in the accident, certainly, but also the owner of the goods being transported, the owner of the trucking company, and owners of any other vehicles involved. Truck accidents can also include personal injury during loading and unloading of vehicles.
Medical Malpractice: If you are sick or injured, you are at a disadvantage on all levels. Most medical personnel will be focused on your well-being, but errors can be made – sometimes those errors can have devastating results. Under such circumstances, a personal injury lawyer can be of great help.
Workman’s Compensation: If you are injured on the job, you might need legal advice – especially if you were injured because of something that has been neglected by your employer. We can negotiate with your employer’s lawyers and help gain for you the amount you might need to compensate for lost wages and for medical bills.
Wrongful Death: This is a type of suit brought by the heirs of a person who died as the result of negligence or deliberate harm. It might relate to any of the below types of suit, but might commonly be associated with malpractice, injurious objects, or vehicle accidents. It could also be brought relating to poor building maintenance or nursing home abuse. To put it another way, it is often invoked in situations that leave unsupported dependents. However, a sum can also be awarded to assuage damages to the family, such as loss of the decedent’s guidance or presence.
Call the professionals – that’s us – and tell us what has happened. We will gather the necessary information, take pictures, and help you through the steps to discover whether you have a case. We won’t take it on unless we believe that you have a situation that warrants filing. Should you have a case, we won’t even discuss putting a dollar amount on your suit until you are back to health – a condition described as Maximum Medical Improvement. Once you have reached that point, it is easier to discern the cost of your medical care. We can also discern whether you will be able to return to work.
How Much Will This Cost?
The initial consultation is free. In most cases, you will owe nothing until your case is won. We charge a percentage of the amount you realize as our fee. This means that we will advise you honestly as to whether you have a case that we are likely to be able to win. It also means that we have a vested interest in your success.
What Process Can I Expect?
- Fact gathering
- The extent and nature of your injuries
- Is there permanent damage?
- Is there scarring?
- Were you at work when it happened?
- Personal support
- Do you need time off from work?
- Will you have medical bills?
- Will you need future treatment?
- Will you need a vehicle?
- What is my responsibility?
- To follow your doctor’s instructions
- To provide honest and accurate information to us
- Let us take care of the communications
If We Win My Case, What Can I Expect?
The amount of compensation from a personal injury case strongly depends upon the type of injury and the resultant losses. Your losses from a car injury, slipping and falling at work, or an injury in or around a business that allowed conditions that led to an accident could include several different things.
These are as follows:
- Medical Treatment – If you are sufficiently injured to warrant filing a lawsuit, then you are likely to have medical treatment and the bills that go with it. This would be a first consideration.
- Loss of income – An injury can prevent you from pursuing normal activity. For example, if you are a bricklayer and you have broken your arm, you are unlikely to be able to engage in your work for at least six weeks – the normal time for a broken bone to heal. It would be logical to pursue compensation for lost wages for that time. An added consideration might be whether you are able to retain the job.
- Property loss – If your car, items of clothing, or other possessions were damaged during the accident, then you would be able to create a claim for the value of the items.
- Pain and Suffering – This is an interesting item. It can mean actual physical pain, for example, a broken bone causes excruciating and debilitating pain. But it can also mean emotional pain. If the accident prevents you from participating in something dearly anticipated, then that would cause a different sort of pain. If trauma is involved in the accident that results in anxiety, stress, loss of sleep and similar symptoms, then that can be incorporated under this heading.
- Emotional distress – Sometimes lumped in with pain & suffering, this deals specifically with emotional reactions to the accident. An emotional reaction could be sadness over a temporary loss of mobility or similar difficulty right on up through full-blown distress that requires professional help to overcome.
- Loss of enjoyment – Very similar to pain and suffering or emotional distress, this is considered when the injury prevents you from engaging in pursuits that would normally give you pleasure. For example, if you spend time in a gymnasium each week practicing gymnastics, a broken limb would certainly cause a loss of that activity. If the broken appendage cannot be restored to normal function, that loss could be more than temporary.
- Loss of consortium – This occurs when the injury causes separation between the sufferer and family members. This could include a situation that affects a marriage or a separation between a parent and child. In some cases, the money for this type of loss might be awarded to family members rather than the victim.
- Punitive Damages – If it can be shown that the person or persons responsible for the accident allowed inappropriate conditions or behavior to cause the damage, then they might be further charged for the situation. This is a sum added as a deterrent to further neglect an activity that might cause difficulty for others in the future.
Some Things to Know:
Your behavior or responses can affect the outcome of your case.
Here are a few things of which you should be aware:
- Comparative negligence – This is when the opposition can show that you are at least partially at fault for a situation. For example, if you are rear-ended, if it can be proven that you stopped abruptly without good cause, or that your brake lights were out, your compensation might be reduced.
- Contributory negligence – Similar to the above, but somewhat different in scope, contributory negligence is a situation where your carelessness or actions helped cause the accident. In such a case, you might not receive any compensation at all.
- Failure to mitigate damages – This addresses your behavior after the accident. This is why it is so important for you to carefully follow your physician’s instructions. If it can be shown that you didn’t make every effort to get well, return to work, and so on, then that will work against you.
These considerations are reasonable things that have been set up to help prevent people from inflating or creating their status to gain compensation. If you have been injured, it is important not to appear to fall into any of these categories. They are also why we should be the first person you call – even before contacting your insurance company. We can help steer you around these conceptual shoals so that your accident can be addressed correctly.
“I Don’t Really Want to Go to Court.”
No one wants to go to court. Therefore, injury cases are, as it is often expressed, “settled out of court.” We can advise you as to whether an out-of-court settlement is reasonable and in your best interests. Settling out of court can save all parties embarrassment, and it avoids the costs associated with court proceedings. Sometimes, however, that is the only way to recover your losses. Giving you appropriate advice is part of our responsibility.
Fitzpatrick Firm, LLC is well known throughout the area as a respected firm that is devoted to obtaining appropriate compensation to our clients. We are known for our tenacity and our fierce determination to obtain just results.
Personal injury lawyers receive the same training as any other trial lawyer. Lawyers must earn a degree in law from a certificated college or university. They must also pass a written bar exam to practice. In addition, they must pass a program certified by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification to practice as a personal injury lawyer.
Our goal is to provide our clients with the very best legal advice possible and to obtain just results for you. We will be by your side every step of your journey, whether we are merely seeking compensation, or whether we find that it will be necessary to take your case to court.
Life can have a lot of little bumps that you can overcome on your own, but when the big bumps come along you might need some help to get over them. That is why we have invested in our legal training – to help you get past those rough spots, and perhaps to make the world a better place to live for everyone along the way.